Gareth Henry’s Activism

Background

Commonly called by his first and last names, Gareth Andre Theodore Henry, is a badminton player who was born in Madeville, Jamaica. He has competed in numerous Central and Caribbean Games, several Pan Am Men’s Team Championships, and the BWF International Challenge/Series. From an early age, Gareth Henry knew that he was interested in men. After moving to live with his uncle, Henry began to open up about his sexuality and began participating in gay rights organizations.

Gay Activism

Gareth Henry rose to become the leader of the Jamaica Forum for Lesbians, All Sexuals and Gays (J-Flag) after the group’s former leader was stabbed and killed in a 2004 homophobic act of violence. During his four year membership with the organization he not only witnessed several of his friends get murdered for their sexuality, but he also aided police in identifying the victims of these hate crimes.

On February 14, 2007, Gareth Henry was assaulted by several policemen after being trapped by a mob of people at a drugstore. Henry was with a group of other men during the incident and was questioned by officers regarding his sexuality. In the months following the assault, Gareth Henry continued to receive death threats from Jamaican citizens and policemen due to his sexuality and his hospitality to other gay men. He left Jamaica, the following year, in search for a safer life in Canada. He is currently seeking reform in Jamaica by working with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Current

Gareth Henry currently lives with his husband, Aron Charles-Henry, in Canada. Realizing that mass amounts of men are undergoing the violence that he experienced in Jamaica, Henry is diligently working to reform the Jamaican government and hold them accountable for the actions of their citizens and officials. Despite several meetings with the police, by various members of the gay community, Henry realizes that change will have to come from above. Understanding the HIV/AIDS issue that many gay men suffer, in addition to the violence, Henry believes that radical actions will have to be taken in order to create a change in the country.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Badminton, Entrepreneur

Leave a Reply